TSC clears air over Parallel payroll, Schemes of Service, CPG and Recovered CBA funds from Teachers

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The Teachers Service Commission(TSC) has released a detailed circular on various contentious issues currently affecting the teaching service. Here are the issues that have been addressed by the commission:

  1. Separate the payroll for KNUT from the rest of Teachers
  2. Difference between Schemes of Service and Career Progression
    Guidelines (CPG)
  3. Parliament role in approval of CPG
  4. Relationship between Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the
    Career Progression Guidelines
  5. Benefits of CPG in relation to promotion of Teachers
  6. Teachers promoted during the CBA implementation
  7. Why is the Commission not promoting teachers based on Higher Qualification?
  8. Impact of the court Judgment on promotion of teachers
  9. Implications of the Judgment on teachers in reference to the SoS and CPG
  10. Has the Commission recovered CBA funds from Teachers?
  11. Effect of the Judgment on the teaching service
  12. When will the judgment be implemented and for which period will it affect?
  13. How can the situation be reverted to help all teachers benefit from the Third phase?
  14. Why has the Commission issued a notice to remove Mr. Wilson Sossion from the register of teachers with effect from 29/7/2019?
  15. When will the Commission meet the union as per the court Judgment?

 

Separate the payroll for KNUT from the rest of Teachers

Order (d) of the Judgment directs TSC in part to “undertake teacher promotion in accordance with the relevant provisions of the CORT and the Schemes of Service with respect to all unionisable teachers eligible to join the Respondent trade union…”
In order to comply with this Order, without disadvantaging teachers who are not KNUT members, TSC has been forced to run two parallel payrolls: one for members of KNUT under Schemes of Service and the other for non-members of KNUT under CPG.

The payroll under Schemes of Service has posed numerous challenges which the Commission hoped to side step through stay orders. Significantly, it translates overpayment of salaries which the Commission is bound by the law to determine and recover as government liability against the respective teachers.

In addition, the Commission is mandated under the law to ensure prudent utilization of public finance.

Difference between Schemes of Service and Career Progression
Guidelines (CPG)

  • Schemes of service were guidelines used to promote teachers before signing of the
    CBA.
  •  The Commission adopted CPG in 2017 to enable implementation of the Job Evaluation
    (JE) and the CBA that were signed in 2016. The guidelines outline the descriptions,
    specifications, and competencies for each job.
  •  It is worth noting that prior to the implementations of CPGs, the Commission was
    promoting teachers using three schemes of service (certificate, degree and Diploma)
    based on qualification and experience; this caused stagnation in one job group.
  •  The Job evaluation introduced a paradigm shift in the grading and remuneration
    structure for teachers. The focus shifted to responsibility and Job worth (amount of
    responsibility assigned to a teacher) as opposed to experience and qualification alone.
    This was also observed by the judge in the second limb of Order (d) which provided:
    “…parties may within the CBA and Recognition Agreement consider reviewing the prevailing Schemes of Service with a view of bringing them into alignment with the prevailing CBA pay structure and related matters as will be necessary and without derogating from the provisions of the CORT on teacher promotion – as the policy of 02.05.2018 on Career Progression Guidelines and purporting to abolish and replace prevailing three Schemes of Service will not apply accordingly.”

Does the CPG have to be approved by Parliament?

CPG are tools for the implementation of the CBA. The CBA does not need to go through Parliament so are its tools of implementation. The CPG, which is the progressive name for the Schemes of Service, are enshrined in the CORT which was developed in accordance with the Statutory Instruments Act, 2013.

Relationship between Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the
Career Progression Guidelines

  • CBA is a detailed agreement on how the Commission will promote teachers in its
    payroll within a period of four years. The Government of Kenya ring fenced Ksh. 54
    Billion for this purpose.
  • CPG are clear modalities designed to enable the Commission implement the CBA.

Benefits of CPG in relation to promotion of Teachers

According to TSC, the CPGs have taken into account the new system and addressed the issues of stagnation. Key gains under this include;

  •  Promotion to the next grade after entry is automatic for Certificate, Diploma and
    Degree holders thus creating parity of treatment for all the groups. NB: all teachers
    were promoted w.e.f 1st July 2017 when CBA implementation begun.
  •  Teacher promotion can be accelerated without the requisite three years as was the case
    in the Schemes of Service. For instance; in the next financial year (2020/2021), 96,000
    teachers currently in B5 will automatically move to C1. This implies that these teachers
    are moving two job groups (G –J), which is not tenable under the Schemes of Service.
  • The CPG elongated the salary grades by introducing more salary ‘bands’ within a job
    group.

Where ALL the Teachers promoted during the CBA implementation?

Yes.
The salaries were immediately adjusted to reflect the promotions. The Commission has also been issuing promotion letters to the effect. Information below demonstrates the promotions effected during the CBA for primary school teachers and administrators.

  •  All Teachers who were in job group G were moved to B5 equivalent to job group H. (Number of beneficiaries 85,611)
  •  All Teachers who were in job group H were moved to C1 equivalent to job group J. (Number of beneficiaries 21,347)
  •  All Senior Teachers who were between job group G – K were moved to C2 an equivalent to job group K. (Number of beneficiaries 21,042)
  •  All Deputy Head Teachers in G – L were moved to C4 equivalent to job group M. (Number of beneficiaries 17,911)
  •  All Head Teachers who were in G – L moved to C5 equivalent of job group N. (Number of beneficiaries 22,049)
  •  All Head Teachers in M and N moved to D1 equivalent of job group P. (Number of beneficiaries 2,797)

Why is the Commission not promoting teachers based on Higher Qualification?

According to the commission here are the reasons why teachers with higher qualifications have not been promoted:

  •  Higher qualification is just but one criterion among others such as satisfactory
    performance, attainment of prerequisite qualifications of a mean grade of C+ in KCSE, and C+ in two teaching subjects.
  • Promotions are guided by the CORT, which states that upward mobility is based on
    availability of vacancies.
  • In a joint meeting between TSC and KNUT on 8th January, 2019, it was resolved that
    promotions based on higher qualification was no longer tenable. There is no way an
    employer would promote employees based on submission of certificates that are not
    relevant to the job they are undertaking. Therefore, with effect from the date of that
    resolution, all promotions based on attainment of higher qualifications were stopped.
  • Job Evaluation was conducted where all the stakeholders were involved. These were the
    KNUT, KUPPET, KESSHA, KEPSHA and the Parents Association. Implementation of
    the job evaluation report stopped any further promotion of teachers on attainment of higher qualifications.

Impact of the court Judgment on promotion of teachers

  • The immediate consequence of the Court judgment with regard to teacher promotion is that some major promotional benefits that had been achieved through the CPG have been lost. Specifically, under the CPG, teachers formerly designated as P1 and who were promoted to B5 with effect from 1st July 2017 will not be promoted under common cadre to C1 on1st July 2020. This is because promotion of teachers who are members of the KNUT shall strictly be as per the provisions of the Schemes of Service.
  • Teachers who are members of the KNUT shall be selected to undertake Teachers Proficiency Courses (TPC) upon payment of requisite fee so as to be considered for promotion from P1 to ATS IV as was the case prior to 1/7/2017.

Implications of the Judgment on teachers in reference to the SoS and CPG

  • The Commission will revert the affected teachers to the old teaching grades provided for
    in the Scheme of Service, e.g. P1, ATS IV, ATS III, etc. This will automatically lead to
    teachers losing all the benefits embedded in the CPG as an implementation tool for the
    CBA. In addition, full reversion of the previously enhanced salaries shall subsequently
    follow by recovering the salary overpayments due to the affected teachers.
  • Upon implementation of the CBA, it was no longer tenable to apply the SoS as the grading and designation structure had completely changed. The CBA had upgraded teachers to higher levels and salaries. It therefore became necessary to develop new guidelines to align with the new structure and guide promotions, going forward.
  • The promotion to the next job group was based on successful completion of TPC in the
    case of certificate holders or attainment of higher qualifications, subject to availability of
    vacancies in the establishment and meeting the minimum requirements. Diploma and
    degree holders were being promoted using common cadre and competitive selection based on the available vacancies and budgetary allocation.

Has the Commission recovered CBA funds from Teachers?

No.
The Commission has not recovered any funds from the Teachers. It is important to note that in the normal course of its business, the Commission recovers erroneous payments as and when the same are detected e.g. allowances paid for a teacher who was transferred after the payroll is run. The Commission is currently analyzing the extent of the resultant overpayment.

Effect of the Judgment on the teaching service

The current stalemate has divided the teaching service into two with two parallel payrolls.

When will the judgment be implemented and for which period will it affect?

The judgment takes effect from 12/7/2019 to perpetuity.

Will the Commission appeal the Judgment of the High Court?

Yes.

Meanwhile, the Commission shall obey all the court orders in the course of discharging its
mandate.

How can the situation be reverted to help all teachers benefit from the Third phase?

This can only be possible if the court judgment is overturned.

Why has the Commission issued a notice to remove Mr. Wilson Sossion from the register of teachers with effect from 29/7/2019?

  • He breached the provisions of clause (f) of the Third Schedule to the TSC Act, 2012 as
    read together with Regulation 141 (f) of the CORT by causing paralysis of the
    Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) training on 23/4/2019 in 11 Counties.
  • He breached the provisions of clause (f) of the Third Schedule to the TSC Act, 2012 as
    read together with section 16 of the Public Officer Ethics, Act 2003; and regulation 141
    (f) of the CORT by failing to act with impartiality and loyalty; honesty and objectivity
    regardless of his political views when he accepted nomination of the Orange Democratic
    Party (ODM-Kenya) as a Member of Parliament in 2017. This was in contravention of
    Regulation 187(1) and (2) of the CORT; Regulation 16 of the TSC Code of Conduct and
    Ethics for Teachers.

When will the Commission meet the union as per the court Judgment?

  • The Commission is ready to meet the union (s) under the normal industrial relations.
  • The Commission has also convened a meeting to validate the appraisal tools as ordered by the Court.